GSY REVIEW | X360, PS3, PC Monday, August 22, 2011 | 6:00 PM

Gamersyde Review: Deus Ex HR

Gamersyde Review: Deus Ex HR

Square-Enix gave us what we think is a great privilege when they sent us the review code of Deus Ex: Human Revolution a few few ago. This lapse of time allowed us to play the game thoroughly in order to deliver a full review in time for release. Lucky you, it is even a bit early as the game only ships tomorrow in North America and this Friday in Europe. To make this review more immersive than ever, we will tell you everything about the game from the comfort of 2027 Detroit. Some mysterious group of people actually hired a well-known hacker to hack into Adam Jensen's neuronal system and get as much information as possible about him. Here is his final report.
Update: Launch trailer added.



Dear clients, the task I have been assigned to was far from easy and I went through many ordeals to do what you paid me for. The intel I got is so interesting I am sure it will help you in your research to create the best possible augmented agent. This Adam Jensen guy had to go through a lot after the violent attack at Sarif Industries. All the events that unfolded took him all over the planet and have changed the world as we know it tremendously.

Once he got back to work after spending some time recovering from the attack at the hospital, Jensen's retinal implant showed some signs of weakness, or so he thought when he went to see Franck Pritchard, the tech guy at Sarif. He corrected the bug but thankfully did not realize it was caused by my intrusion. It was not long before I understood that Jensen's decisions could more or less affect the outcome of his missions, and that even time could run against him. Who knows what would have happened to the hostages if he had decided to spend a little more time rummaging through his desk, if he hadn't gone to the heliport right away when he was asked? Waiting too much can sometimes have grave consequences, you can miss someone important and the secondary mission that goes with them, losing some important intel in the process.



1) physical and social augmentations

But let's get to the point, shall we? I know what you want to hear about is what I learned about augmentations and the way to upgrade them. Sarif Industries stopped at nothing to offer Jensen the best possible technological enhancements, military stuff, but also stealth or social. For medical reasons, augmentations must be unlocked little by little, provided you are experienced enough to handle them. You should also know that there are some types of special kits that allow to upgrades your abilities anytime you want. They can be purchased in the local clinics or be found on location sometimes. Augmentations really help you make your life easier, which, in Jensen's case, means he can have access to otherwise unreachable areas. Here are a few examples: amplified jumps, immunity to electricity, enhanced strength to carry heavy objects blocking the way and so much more.



2) hacking and optimisation

But even without such physical augmentations, an agent can use other means to reach his goal, like for example his social abilities. In some cases, it can be very useful to get some info or be allowed in an unauthorized zone. One thing I noted though, is that you can't just do it at just any given time, it does not work that way. When negotiating with someone, paying attention to their reaction can give you a hint as to what they have in mind. That's how Jensen managed to find the right words in order to get what he wanted. I also found out that he could improve his social skills with a dedicated augmentation allowing to add pheromones to the equation. When unlocked, this augmentation is very helpful as it gives information on someone's personality, as well as the pheromones they are sensitive to. However efficient that can be, you still have to be careful and attentive because failing once means your interlocutor can just “shut down” and ask you to leave. Some people also have abilities capable of detecting your augmentation, so it is not a 100% sure method in the end, at least it's what I reckon from my observations.

More radical means can also be used, as I witnessed on several occasions. Jensen has become quite talented when it comes to hacking security systems or doors, but he is also the meticulous kind when he searches an office, which can grant him access to personal logs filled with info. My experience tells me that hacking is a very good way to get some easy money and some experience. Whether you are in an authorized area or sneaking around somewhere you should not be, there are always useful objects to collect. Some might call it theft, but as far as I can tell, people are not very wary these days. They actually never said a thing to Jensen when he was searching their personal stuff. It is a different story however when it comes to computer systems, when the alarm goes off, sticking around is not a good idea. In such circumstances, Jensen usually kept a low profile and stayed out of sight to avoid being shot down.



3) Combat augs

Agents have two options when encountering enemies. One is gentle, as you simply put them to sleep, either by shooting them from afar with the proper weapon or by knocking them down with a melee attack (or a stun gun). The second one is a lot more lethal and will mostly get people's attention because of the noise it causes. From what I can tell, whether lethal or non lethal, it seems to be very painful for the victim. Jensen can even melee attack two guards at once, and I must say he has some pretty cool moves. Invisibility can also come in handy when faced with multiple enemies. The only drawback is that you need enough energy to do all that, so you must make sure to have something to recharge your batteries. Thankfully, thanks to Jensen's retinal implant, he always know how much energy he has left. Another augmentation I saw in action with my own eyes was the Typhoon. It allows to launch a powerful attack which can take out all the surrounding enemies. Noisy to say the least but pretty darn effective!

To refill your batteries, I am sure you are perfectly aware that you need to use special nutriments called cyberboost proenergy. It is imperative that you check how much energy is left before you decide to take any action. Also interesting is the fact that not all enemies have the same field of vision. Mere thugs are almost as blind as a bat whereas trained soldiers are on the lookout and open fire the second they see something suspicious. Again, augmentations can give you the upper hand as their field of vision can be added to your radar. If that's not enough, then unlocking the “last known position” augmentation will most definitely serve your purpose, should you want to ambush your foes.



4) Weapons augs

If close combat is not your thing, there are tons of weapons to choose from. The only problem is that each of them takes a certain amount of space in your agent's inventory. It then all depends on how much weight he can carry around. I know Jensen did not hesitate to acquire an augmentation to improve the size of his inventory so you see, there is always a solution to be found. Weapons are also upgradable with special kits which add different kinds of effects: laser sight, silencer, maximum ammo possible; etc. Some upgrades are pretty rare but they are worth it, like the homing head enhancement for the rocket launcher for example. Body augmentations are also quite practical as they can help you reduce the recoil of your guns and make you a sharper shooter. After observing Jensen for more than 20 hours, I can assure you that such augmentations make a big difference.

When analyzing Jensen's different tactical approaches, I first assumed that keeping your distance was the best option to ensure the success of a mission. However, even though it makes things simpler, I quickly understood that the experience gained is much less than when taking down the enemy with a melee attack. The same goes with the non lethal approach, clemency being rewarded more than you'd think it would. Taking the time to hack into all systems, read all the documents, or search all the locations with a fine-toothed comb is also worth your while to level up more rapidly.



The places Jensen has been to during his investigation always offered him several options, they were big enough to let him choose how he wanted to deal with the situation. Because of the many objects which could be found all around, it sometimes made it a bit hard for me to distinguish between what was important and what was not. I am pretty sure Jensen did not hesitate to use his cybernetic vision to add some halo around them and lose less time. I know what you think of it, I felt the same too, but I now think it is not that useless. What is though, is probably the clandestine radio you keep hearing everywhere. I mean, the topics are usually pretty interesting, but why all the reruns? It makes them horribly boring after just a few hours. I even don't blame Jensen for turning on the portable radios once in a while – and I don't mean in the good way.


Verdict


Despite some flaws, playing Deus Ex: Human Revolution has been a true pleasure from beginning to end. This new episode in the franchise clearly is worthy of the legend and should satisfy all the fans, as well as the newcomers. You will be asked to make many choices in the course of the adventure, and though most of them will not affect the main quest, it still give the sense that your story is not someone else's. Whatever your decisions, it will be possible to see all the game's endings without having to start over, but it does not mean you won't want to do it. True, the game kind of incites you to play stealth and to let your enemies live, as proven by the experience you gain when behaving that way. Also worth mentioning is the fact that the game is pretty challenging, even in normal mode. It won't take a lot of bullets to die, which, again, will make you want to stay in the shadows, like a thief. From a technical standpoint, the 360 code we got to play had a few framerate issues, a few poor textures here and there, and, above all, a lot of aliasing. Thankfully, such minor details are just a drop in the ocean of awesomeness, starting with the fantastic soundtrack of the game. In short, Human Revolution is a worthy descendant of the first episode and you should not miss it!

Launch Trailer

All comments

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Commented on 2011-08-22 18:20:43
Awesome, will you guys review the PC version as well? That shouldn't have any frame rate/jaggy issues and should run at 60 FPS to boot :D
Commented on 2011-08-22 18:22:30 In reply to Doom_Bringer
I plan on making some videos of the PC retail version this week. So not a review per se, but at least you'll get to see how it looks (played with my 360 pad I'm afraid though :D).
Commented on 2011-08-22 18:28:53
Nice review! How is the game's story? Actually thinking about picking this one up on PC
Commented on 2011-08-22 18:32:55 In reply to catfish
I've been told it is worth it. :)
Commented on 2011-08-22 18:44:57
Really glad this has turned out well, didnt think it would!
Commented on 2011-08-22 18:49:36 In reply to Driftwood
Posted by Driftwood
I plan on making some videos of the PC retail version this week. So not a review per se, but at least you'll get to see how it looks (played with my 360 pad I'm afraid though :D).
I wanted to see it today :( My steam ver should unlock tomorrow morning ^_^
Commented on 2011-08-22 18:51:39 In reply to Doom_Bringer
Well then you'll see the game before I do. :p
Commented on 2011-08-22 19:02:12
The reviews are raving about this game. But I'll have to wait until friday for the game to unlock on Steam :o(
Commented on 2011-08-22 19:29:55
Thanks for the review! My copy is in the mail, so I should be augmenting my reality tomorrow, only on pc.
Commented on 2011-08-22 19:37:05
Great review, really looking forward to this. Comes out just in time for bank holiday monday here in the UK. Which means an extra day in the world of deus ex.
Commented on 2011-08-22 19:41:21
A worthy Deus Ex sequel in this day and age? Woah.
Commented on 2011-08-22 19:46:10
Did not expect this..does not compute..malfunction...
Commented on 2011-08-22 19:46:41
Looks good to me.

:)
Commented on 2011-08-22 20:43:13
As a huge fan on the original deus ex i am very pleased with this game, they have done a great job in bringing the franchise into this generation.
Commented on 2011-08-22 21:05:53
this game looks awesome cant wait 2 play it on friday
Commented on 2011-08-22 21:21:09
Thanks for this review GS, cemented my opinion that this game will rock =)
Commented on 2011-08-22 22:32:35 In reply to Doom_Bringer
Posted by Doom_Bringer
Awesome, will you guys review the PC version as well? That shouldn't have any frame rate/jaggy issues and should run at 60 FPS to boot :D
Why wait for a separate PC review though? it`ll just be the same game, but, (like you said), at 60fps+ and look a little bit crisper.

As far as the core experience goes, it won`t differ much in my opinion - unless there is extra content for the PC etc?

I prefer to play games like this on a home console though, so that I can sit back, put my feet up, get comfortable and enjoy the game from more of a horizontal angle lol.
Commented on 2011-08-22 22:34:40
It sounds great.
Commented on 2011-08-23 00:10:50
Sounds pretty decent, might have to give it a try. How linear is the game though? Are you free to travel where you want as you please? Are the areas very open and with multiple paths?

I'm also curious about the feel of the combat and the AI. I realize this isn't a straight shooter (thanks god), but from the videos I have seen, the combat and the AI just looked...off.
Commented on 2011-08-23 00:13:02
Have had this pre-ordered for months. Now at last, the payoff comes. Was over at Metacritic, and the place is blowing up like Independence Day, with high scores for this game across all platforms. Not that it took a boatload of pro reviews to tell me this was going to be legendary, but I do get the feeling as I go around the web today, that most gamers were expecting Human Revolution to suck . . . or be middling to mediocre at best. Considering how cynical gamers have become over the last decade, that response should not have come as a surprise to me. But still, even as far back as the announce trailer for this, you could practically lick the quality off this game through your screen, it was oozing with so much of it. Go figure.

Anyway, patiently waiting for the game to unlock tonight at 11pm tonight . . . just five more hours and 44 minutes. Have to find something to distract myself with tonight while I wait. Thank goodness Alphas is on tonight. That should help a bit with the waiting.
Commented on 2011-08-23 00:23:52 In reply to michaelob
Posted by michaelob
Sounds pretty decent, might have to give it a try. How linear is the game though? Are you free to travel where you want as you please? Are the areas very open and with multiple paths?

I'm also curious about the feel of the combat and the AI. I realize this isn't a straight shooter (thanks god), but from the videos I have seen, the combat and the AI just looked...off.
If it's anything like the first, there are large "sections", varying in linearity, where you can play with different vantage points and styles, depending on your augmentations and preference.
The save system in the first was a HUGE part of that, for most people, letting them replay areas or augment in different ways.
There was generally a point goal though. "Get here/achieve this goal, however you can/wish"

It's not an open world game by any means.

That's just the first game, though I've heard it's similar, thank god.
Commented on 2011-08-23 00:37:39
I wonder if the differences/improvements (if there are any) in the PS3 version are big enough to make the decision to buy it for the PS3. I much prefer the 360 for several reasons...but if 360 this time is really the lesser version.....not sure yet.
Commented on 2011-08-23 01:38:14 In reply to Moonwalker
Posted by Moonwalker
I wonder if the differences/improvements (if there are any) in the PS3 version are big enough to make the decision to buy it for the PS3. I much prefer the 360 for several reasons...but if 360 this time is really the lesser version.....not sure yet.
Can't imagine there being much difference, if any at all, only mention of it i've come across is the gamespot review, which said the framerate dips when you quickly spin the camera in the 360 version, more-so then it does in the PS3 version, but it seems to be an issue present in both.

"On the Xbox 360 in particular, the frame rate can take a hit as you pan the camera around--a distraction in any case and a greater annoyance during firefights."

I can't imagine you'll go far wrong with either version, but if you're really unsure, just wait for the digital foundry comparrison.

There is a screenshot and performance comparrison over at lens of truth (not sure if you care after their crysis 2 comparrison...lol) but as usual their shitty site can't handle the traffic.
Commented on 2011-08-23 01:58:58
Just checked out the comparison over at lense of truth, basically it's a tie. 360 'wins' graphics (aside from the gamma difference i honestly couldnt tell them apart) performance was a tie, and loading was a ps3 win, with areas loading 15 seconds faster.

They're both great, buy whichever you prefer.
Commented on 2011-08-23 12:12:19
Great review...
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